Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers
Date and Time:
Oct 7 2021 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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Deborah Tuerkheimer

Author and Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Megan Twohey

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times

Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers

Abuse | Activism | Civil Rights | Culture | Ethics | Gender | Inequality | Law | Mental Health | Psychology | Public Policy | Relationships | Social Justice | Trafficking | Women

The #MeToo movement touched off a massive reckoning and exposed how victims have been badly served by a system that is designed not to protect them, but instead to protect the status quo. Credibility lies at the heart of this system. In her landmark book, Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers, former prosecutor, legal expert, and leading authority on sexual violence, Deborah Tuerkheimer reveals how we are all shaped by a set of false assumptions and hidden biases embedded in our culture, our legal system, and our psyches and offers a path forward to ensuring justice is truly served.

Unbeknownst to us, we are shaped by a cluster of forces Tuerkheimer calls the credibility complex. These forces corrupt our judgments, making us too prone to both discount the credibility of accusers and inflate the credibility of the accused. The most vulnerable women experience credibility discounting at its most extreme, while men who are protected by greater status or position are the beneficiaries of massive credibility boosts.

Tuerkheimer explains how the credibility complex is shaped by our culture and the people who routinely mete out these credibility discounts and boosts: police officers, school officials, workplace personnel, friends, roommates, parents; and by the labyrinth of the law: the judicial opinions that interpret these laws, rules that dictate what evidence is allowed in court, and procedures that govern the litigation of cases, both civil and criminal.

Tuerkheimer is a professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her law degree from Yale Law School. Tuerkheimer served for five years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she specialized in domestic violence and child abuse prosecution.

Tuerkheimer will be in conversation with Megan Twohey (FAN ’19), a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and co-author, with Jodi Kantor, of the bestselling book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available later on our website and YouTube channel.

BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Credible from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Tuerkheimer that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.